Tribunal dismisses PO filed by INEC seeking dismissal of petition of the PDP/Atiku for failure to join the vice-president as a party in the suit
The presidential election petition tribunal will today deliver judgement in the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
All the parties in the suit had made their final submissions on August 21, when the tribunal declared that the date for the judgement will be communicated at a later date.
The PDP and its candidate are seeking to nullify the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 poll.
The five-man panel include the Chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba. Others include Justice Peter Olabisi-Ige, Justice Abdul Aboki, Justice Joseph Ikyegh and Justice Samuel Oseji.
The panel is led by Justice Mohammed Garba.
Preliminary Objections were first heard.
The First Preliminary Objection
The first Preliminary Objections (PO) was filed by INEC asking the court to dismiss the petition for failure to join the vice president who is a party to the election on four grounds as he is an indispensable party in the petition.
The PO said failure to join the vice-president robbed the court the powers to hear the petition as such it should be dismissed.
It adds that noncompliance with the electoral act is not a mere rule but goes to the foundation of the case. In the present petition, the electoral act was complied with.
The vice president, it noted, is not a necessary party in line with section 178 and is bound by the decision given to the necessary Party which in this case are the 2nd respondent (the president ) and the third respondent (the APC).
Justice Garba held that not joining the vice president is not fatal to the Petition.
He said the objection is not correct in law, it lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.
The dismissal is a unanimous decision of the panel.
Summary: The tribunal has dismissed a preliminary objection filed by INEC seeking a dismissal of the petition of the PDP and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar for failure to join the vice-president as a party in the suit having participated in the election that is the subject of the appeal.
The next Preliminary Objection (PO) to be decided was also filed by the first respondent INEC.
The PO is seeking an order striking out the petitioners list of documents for being incompetent.